Dawn Norris ’05: Job Loss, Identity, and Mental Health
Job Loss, Identity, and Mental Health
by Dawn R. Norris
Our jobs are often a big part of our identities, and when we are fired, we can feel confused, hurt, and powerless—at sea in terms of who we are. Drawing on extensive, real-life interviews, Job Loss, Identity, and Mental Health shines a light on the experiences of unemployed, middle-class professional men and women, showing how job loss can affect both identity and mental health.
Sociologist Dawn R. Norris uses in-depth interviews to offer insight into the experience of losing a job—what it means for daily life, how the unemployed feel about it, and the process they go through as they try to deal with job loss and their new identities as unemployed people. Norris highlights several specific challenges to identity that can occur.